Some Yankees fans out there actually believe that this season is not over for their team – and that they do have a shot at making the post-season. To that end, they point at the Phillies and Rockies of last season. Well, let’s look at what happened last year with those teams – as well as some other recent comeback teams too. Here are the numbers:
On September 1, 2007, the Phillies were 3 games behind the Mets in the N.L. East and the Rockies were 5 games behind the Diamondbacks in the N.L. Wildcard race.
The Phillies went 17-10 the rest of the way while the Mets went 13-14. The Rockies went 21-7 the rest of the way while the Diamondbacks went 14-11. (Note: The Diamondbacks were tied with the Padres on September 1st for the lead in the N.L. West – but had one more loss than them…so, they were the Wildcard ‘leader’ at that time. And, the Diamondbacks would go on to win the N.L. West – as San Diego went 14-14 to close out the season.)
Now, next, look at the A.L. East in 1978. On September 1st, the Yankees were 6.5 games back of the Red Sox. New York went 23-8 the rest of the way while Boston went 15-15.
How about 1995 in the A.L. West? On September 1st, the Mariners were 6.5 games back of the Angels. Seattle went 19-9 the rest of the way while California went 11-16.
1993 in the N.L. West? On September 1st, the Braves were 4.5 games back of the Giants. Atlanta went 22-7 the rest of the way while San Francisco went 17-13.
1969 in the N.L. East? On September 1st, the Mets were 5 games back of the Cubs. New York went 24-7 the rest of the way while Chicago went 9-18.
Note, the trailing teams were all around 3 to 6.5 games back of the leaders on September 1st. Coming into today’s game, the Yankees are seven games back of the Red Sox.
So, sure, if the Yankees can get this gap down to somewhere around four or five games by September 1st, then all they will need to do is win something like 19 or 20 of their 26 games in September and hope that the Red Sox play about .500 ball or worse (for the rest of the season).
Oh, boy, it’s a piece of cake. Let’s all get on that optimism train before it’s too late!